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  1. #1
    Senior Member FreeTheWeasel's Avatar
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    Backyard report: HH supershelter and JRB Sniveller - 40 F

    Greetings,

    Here is yet another account of my backyard testing as I gear up for cold weather camping here in Minnesota. I've been playing with a combination of Hennessy supershelter and Jacks R Better No Sniveller. My first backyard report at 50 F can be found here and my outdoors trip at 55 F can be found here.

    After 85 on Sunday, we finally have October weather and last night it went down to 40. I was dressed in thermal underwear, wool socks, and a fleece balaclava which is a bit bulky but effective.

    I put the supershelter on the bottom of my hammock, the Sniveller inside as a top quilt (down shaken to the middle), and the large Hennessy hex tarp set low to the ground to block as much wind as possible.

    I started off the evening warm. Too warm. I had to vent the top quilt. After about 30 minutes, however, I started to fill a bit of chill through the bottom of the hammock and I decided to put my 3/4 length REI brand self inflating pad (1.5 inch thick) under the supershelter pad, inside the undercover. I had discovered previously that putting the pad on top of the Hennessy open cell foam pulled it away from the hammock creating cold spots. Things seemed pretty warm and I fell asleep.

    I awoke some hours later a bit chilled. The rest of the night was spent managing the cold. I never really achieved comfortable warmth but I was never really cold enough to keep me awake. I would get cold, shift, pull the quilt tighter, and drift back to sleep.

    The quilt was great, the problem was the bottom insulation. I just couldn't get it right. I know that the 3/4 pad shifted down as the night went on and slid down, exposing my shoulders. At 5:00 am, I put on my long sleeve shirt, my pants, and my gloves, but they really didn't help much. I did have more clothing that I did not wear. If I had been out on an actual trip I would have put on my polar fleece and rain jacket/pants and/or opened up a chemical heater. I doubt I would have suffered but I wanted to find the limits of my setup and I think I hit it.

    I am going to make some DIY quilts to compliment my No Sniveller and I'm interested to see how low I can go with a top/bottom quilt set.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I think I'd have put the No Sniveller underneath as an underquilt, and found something else to put on top... maybe one of your yet to be made DIY quilts?


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
    - John Burroughs

  3. #3
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    What a wuss!!! 40 degs and he was cold! You clearly are not a native Minnesotian!!!

    Just teasing ya!

    I agree with NCPatrick...I don't think that the Super Shelter is able to go that cold...I think to go that cold you will need to have an under quilt.

    If we are lucky, we will get our down today and we can work on your quilts this weekend.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fiddleback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmlarson View Post
    What a wuss!!! 40 degs and he was cold! You clearly are not a native Minnesotian!!!

    Just teasing ya!

    I agree with NCPatrick...I don't think that the Super Shelter is able to go that cold...I think to go that cold you will need to have an under quilt.

    If we are lucky, we will get our down today and we can work on your quilts this weekend.
    That's a lot of gear and a lot of expense for not much help with "cold." Forty degrees? Weigh too much (pun intended ) effort for that little protection. Sounds like the equipment needs a major redesign.

    FB

  5. #5
    Senior Member FreeTheWeasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddleback View Post
    That's a lot of gear and a lot of expense for not much help with "cold." Forty degrees? Weigh too much (pun intended ) effort for that little protection. Sounds like the equipment needs a major redesign.

    FB
    I'm curious. Could you expand on this a bit?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Fiddleback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddleback View Post
    That's a lot of gear and a lot of expense for not much help with "cold." Forty degrees? Weigh too much (pun intended ) effort for that little protection. Sounds like the equipment needs a major redesign.

    FB

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeTheWeasel View Post
    I'm curious. Could you expand on this a bit?

    As others have posted here, staying warm in the 40s with a relatively thin pad is usually pretty easy. Of course there are always varibles not the least of which is how the individual hammock hanger responds to cold and what that night's weather is (windy? wet?). But given the Hennessy Super Shelter costs $130-$140 and weighs 13-14oz I would expect/demand better performance than, when on a 40F-low night, the tester "...started to ((feel)) a bit of chill through the bottom of the hammock and I decided to put my 3/4 length REI brand self inflating pad (1.5 inch thick) under the supershelter pad, inside the undercover." On top of everything, and according to what I see at rei.com, adding that self-inflating REI pad added another $65 and 18oz to the system.

    I wear insulated clothing for my hammock sleep system and I realize that may skew the results from what others achieve. But I 'feel cold coming through' after the temp drops below 25F. And I'm using the Oware, 1/4" thick pad @ $27 and 7oz ($24 and 6oz for the new 3/16" thick version). That, in my mind, is a huge disparity in price, performance, and weight. And not much motivation to use the Super Shelter. Especially so when here in this region we get very few summer nights with lows above the 40s.

    FB
    Last edited by Fiddleback; 10-10-2007 at 17:31. Reason: format

  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddleback View Post
    As others have posted here, staying warm in the 40s with a relatively thin pad is usually pretty easy. Of course there are always varibles not the least of which is how the individual hammock hanger responds to cold and what that night's weather is (windy? wet?). But given the Hennessy Super Shelter costs $130-$140 and weighs 13-14oz I would expect/demand better performance than, when on a 40F-low night, the tester "...started to ((feel)) a bit of chill through the bottom of the hammock and I decided to put my 3/4 length REI brand self inflating pad (1.5 inch thick) under the supershelter pad, inside the undercover." ............
    FB
    I have always done much better than that with the SS, though I do(nearly) always use the reccomended $2 space blanket. At which point I am good to low 30s hi 20s. Which is really not that far from some much more expensive options. It should also be remembered that you also get some what more protection from wind/water when you add the SS.

    But obviously people vary greatly in how these various things work for them.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmlarson View Post
    I think to go that cold you will need to have an under quilt.
    Don't tell Neo that; you'll hurt his feelings!

  9. #9
    neo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmlarson View Post
    What a wuss!!! 40 degs and he was cold! You clearly are not a native Minnesotian!!!

    Just teasing ya!

    I agree with NCPatrick...I don't think that the Super Shelter is able to go that cold...I think to go that cold you will need to have an under quilt.

    If we are lucky, we will get our down today and we can work on your quilts this weekend.
    a 4 dollar army closed pad got me down to single digits no problem in my claytor hammock

  10. #10
    Senior Member FreeTheWeasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neo View Post
    a 4 dollar army closed pad got me down to single digits no problem in my claytor hammock
    You know, the problem is not that a closed cell pad won't work, its that I'm a geek with little outlet for my compulsive behavior. Why go with a proven, easy, cheap solution when the more expensive and complicated system might work?

    I slept outside on Saturday with my No Sniveller as an underquilt and my heavy Sierra Designs +15 degree bag (4 pounds!) on top as a quilt. The temperature bottomed out at 43 F. I was wearing long underwear and socks. I was too hot at first and then as I cooled off, I pulled the sleeping bag on. I was comfortable most of the night until right around 7:00 am, I somehow opened a small gap under my hip as I rolled onto my side. Instantly, I started to feel a bit of a draft on my hip only. I think I may have pulled the sides of the hammock together while rolling which would cause the bottom to drop a bit. I eventually spread the hammock out and things warmed up.

    See! I can make even an underquilt fail to keep me warm. Who was it that said that staying warm and loft is really between the ears? Or was it that my head is full of down which is why I have so many problems?

    The truth is that the Supershelter works for many people and has worked for me several times. I think there is less margin for error than with a quilt. The undercover pad is narrower and is more position dependent. It also tends to collapse the hammock and make it narrower. The quilt allows the hammock to spread more so it feels roomier and because it come up higher on both sides, one is less likely to roll off the pad.

    Both require a learning curve and I'm more than willing to spend the time practicing. Its fun. I will continue to use both.

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